BCSS Underwater Observatory Project: predator kill behavior
BCSS Underwater Obervatory Project: The first ‘croc couta comes in for a real close look but turns away right the last second. There are two of the +-20kg class fish circling the live bait with piqued interest. In a flash the hapless bonito has its tail sliced off. Blood streams out. Another fish circles and bang! The couta comes from in from below and chomps into the bait. Vas! But somehow he misses the hooks and another guy comes in and finishes off.
This action is all part of the Bazaruto Centre for Scientific Studies’ (BCSS) Dr. Mario Lebrato’s long-term ocean observatory project. One of only a handful worldwide, Dr. Lebrato is set to deploy a multifaceted underwater monitoring system. Cameras, sensors and a myriad of other sampling equipment will be installed all over the Bazaruto Archipelago. For long-term data recording and analysis.
Luckily, part of these underwater observations includes predator fish kill behavior. Trolling tow cams on marlin dredges and teasers, and right in front of live baits, is opening a huge new three dimensional perspective of a mostly viewed in 2D wake and prop wash. What goes on down there is gob-smacking. So many fish come in interested, but then shy away at the last minute, and move on. In fact, the plentiful and ever-present Zambezi shark is far more careful than the aggressive king mackerel. Tuna seem to be the most suspicious so far. Cobia are also wily characters. Talang queenfish get super excited about a live bait, but will not touch it! Then it grabs a lure! Amazing revelations about fish learning and behaviour.
Wait ’til you see the Zambies following the boat!!!
The hours and hours of material recorded will go back to Europe for careful analysis and processing into data.
Watch this space!
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